Wildfire Progress Made Near San Diego


Updated: 07-27-2006 12:58:48 PM



THOMAS WATKINS
Associated Press

California firefighters aided by cooler weather Wednesday reported steady progress on a fire that has burned for nearly four days through the Cleveland National Forest east of San Diego.

The blaze had burned 16,455 acres, or more than 25 square miles. It triggered evacuation of the small community of Carveacre, and a half-dozen other little clusters of homes were on notice they might be next.

"The temperatures were a little cooler. The winds were calmer. Humidities were still on the high side," said Roxanne Provaznik of the California Department of Forestry.

In remote north-central Nevada, a wildfire swept over six firefighters, burning two of them over 50 percent of their bodies, fire officials said Wednesday.

The six were members of the Eldorado National Forest Hotshot crew based near Placerville, Calif. Preliminary indications blamed wind - possibly a dust devil - for Tuesday's incident.

The other four firefighters were released after being treated for minor burns, blisters and smoke inhalation.

In northeastern Oregon, firefighters said 20 buildings were at risk Wednesday from a rangeland fire that had covered about 10,000 acres, or 15 square miles, on the southern edge of the Wallowa Mountains.

In Oregon's largest blaze, 60,000 acres, or 94 square miles, of rangeland had burned east of Steens Mountain in the southeastern part of the state. Firefighters said they were trying to protect features in a wilderness study area and six threatened structures, and they didn't expect containment until the end of the week.

In western Montana, a 500-acre blaze east of Florence had destroyed one mobile home and led to the evacuation of about a dozen other homes, fire officials said Wednesday. Residents of a dozen other homes were warned that they, too, might need to evacuate.

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Associated Press writer Tom Gardner in Reno, Nev., contributed to this report.

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